Gov­er­nor hosts his fi­nal hol­i­day tours

Mal­loy wel­comes guests at man­sion all week­end in an­nual open house

Hartford Courant - - Connecticut - By Kathleen McWil­liams km­[email protected]

For the fi­nal time be­fore he leaves of­fice, Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy opened the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence for the an­nual hol­i­day open house on Fri­day.

Mal­loy and First Lady Cathy Mal­loy will host vis­i­tors at the Prospect Av­enue man­sion for the next two days, with choir groups from area schools and col­leges sched­uled each day.

“The Christ­mas sea­son is one of my fa­vorite times of the year, and Cathy and I love hav­ing ev­ery­one over for this long­stand­ing Connecticut tra­di­tion,” Mal­loy said. “We look for­ward to hav­ing ev­ery­one join us in the hol­i­day spirit.”

On Fri­day, the halls of the 1909 man­sion were decked with long ever­green gar­lands. In the foyer, gar­lands filled with pine cones fes­tooned two pil­lars, and in a sit­ting room, a gar­land filled with golden pears trimmed a fire­place.

Dozens of vis­i­tors gath­ered in the foyer to lis­ten to car­ol­ers and take photos of the clas­sic Christ­mas decor.

“I re­mem­ber a house like this from my grand­par­ents,” Bet­tina Luhn, 88, who grew up in Cologne, Ger­many, said. “One gets the feel­ing im­me­di­ately that it’s cozy and lived in.”

Dec­o­rated Christ­mas trees were in nearly every room. One was filled with or­na­ments the Mal­loy fam­ily col­lected over the years, in­clud­ing a replica of the state capi­tol and a glass ham­burger or­na­ment.

“All of the or­na­ments be­long to Gov­er­nor Mal­loy and his fam­ily,” tour guide Ann Molod said. “Every year they start dec­o­rat­ing after Thanks­giv­ing. It’s a fam­ily affair.”

How do I go on a tour?

Just show up. The 109-year-old man­sion will be open for tours on Satur­day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sun­day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The res­i­dence is ADA ac­ces­si­ble.

Where is it?

The Ge­or­gian Re­vival-style home is at 990 Prospect Ave. It was orig­i­nally built at a cost of $337,000 for a Hartford physi­cian, Ge­orge C.F. Wil­liams. It be­came the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the gov­er­nor in 1945, when the state bought it for $39,500. The home was ren­o­vated dur­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tions of Gov. Lowell P. We­icker, Jr. and Gov. John G. Row­land. Un­der Mal­loy, the

grounds, pub­lic ar­eas and a cot­tage have been re­stored.

MARK MIRKO/HARTFORD COURANT

Dianne Gree­nier, as “Merry Claus,” greets He­len Fults of South­bury while Nor­man Ward, as Santa Claus, greets Francine Crys­tal dur­ing the an­nual hol­i­day open house at the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence in Hartford.

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